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Binary Comparisons



The binary comparison engine of ECMerge uses an asynchronous model: you do not have to wait for the comparison to finish to navigate in the files. While the comparison is running, the text with missing comparison results is grayed. You can interrupt the process at any time by closing the view, you can change comparison options on the fly without interrupting, the comparison engine takes care of that for you.

Launching a comparison

Use the Document / Comparsion/Merge / New Binary Comparison (Ctrl+Shift+B) command to open an empty Binary Comparison view or  Document / Comparsion/Merge / New Comparison... (Ctrl+N) menu item to select the sources files to use and/or the options to apply to the new document. The dialog box allows you to open side-by-side or 3 way comparisons.

Working with comparisons

Each source file is open as read-only and remain constant during the comparison.

  • Differences

The differences are presented by using different background colours. The modified sections are either added, removed, ignored or changed. You can define the colours in the Options dialog box . The current choice of colors is displayed aside basic statistics in the status bar.

  • Display 

The display is made of two columns: binary and ASCII (more precisely CP1252) representations. It looks like this:

Offset 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  A  B  C  D  E  F 0123456789ABCDEF
00000 4D 5A 90 00 03 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 FF FF 00 00 MZ..........ÿÿ..
00010 B8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ¸.......@.......

You can choose to hide the offset column or use decimal/hexadecimal display. You can also hide right column.
The display always uses a power of 2 for the line length in bytes to help with most formats.

 Binary Comparisons cannot handle merging, ie it is not possible to mix binary files with Ellié Computing Merge in order to save a mixed result. The Binary Comparison view enables you to understand the differences between 2 or 3 files.

See also